The term Masters Runner applies to a 35 year and older runner who competes in track according to USA Track and Field. For road racing, the term applies to those 40 and older. With that, the training programming for a master’s runner will differ from those who are younger. You might see master runners compete at a higher level than other runners…young or “old”. That is unique but it does happen. Even with that being said, there is a change in style and planning for the Masters runner. What is comes down to is learning different methodologies while also allowing time to recover.
Let’s face it…. Runners typically do one thing. They run. That’s it.
If you are younger, you can get away with it. It might come back to haunt you later on and it might end up holding you back from succeeding in reaching your goals.
For master runners, they have no choice. They have to mix it up. Here’s a list of some areas that would benefit this group of runners. By partaking in what’s to follow, the master’s runner can add longevity to their running “career” while also learning new forms of cardio and maintaining fitness along the way.
Swimming: Probably the best form of exercise there is for the master runner. You are off your feet and working full body. A great cardio workout can take place while swimming. There are a multitude of workouts to play with. Plus, you take away the risk of overheating while swimming.
Spinning: A spin class is another great way to sustain fitness. Getting in a good class with a good instructor will do wonders for you. Like swimming, there are a bunch of styles to spinning and spin instructors. Try what works best for you and go with it.
Biking: Outdoor riding is a lot of fun. With that, be aware of your surroundings and the traffic. Riding in a group is best.
Group Aerobic Classes: Many gyms, if not all, offer these. They are challenging yet fun with the right teacher.
Elliptical: Easy on the joints with this cardio equipment. Choose a program and go with it.
Speed Walking: This mode is a great way to recover from harder workouts. You can move at a fast clip however don’t go to fast where you find yourself running. The pace is a preference thing. Only you will know what that is.
These are just a few examples of cardio. If you want to add some more, you should try Yoga and Strength training.
While all of this is great, keep in mind recovery is key as well. Where the younger athlete could handle a large load and take little time off between workouts, the older (master) athlete needs to make adjustments with this in mind. It’s a preference thing and a how you feel thing. Some need 24 hours. Some less.
Okay, so you’re a master runner. It’s not the end of the world. Keep being you but make some changes to your planning. It will help you “survive”. It’s all good.